Eight things we learned at Notting Hill Carnival

It's not all mega sound systems and sequins at carnival – here's what we learned this year.
By Gemma Lacey

1. Dancing like your dad is cooler than you think.

If that dad happens to be the godfather of UK reggae, David Rodigan. At 61 he can still shake it on stage with the best of them – can we get a shout out and some signal for this guy?

David Rodigan at RBMA Notting Hill Carnival party © Steve Stills

2. Fancy dress is mandatory.

From showgirls on stage to half the crowd, sequin bras and hotpants were standard issue and that was just the boys. Serious carnival attendees know that the real statement is what’s on your head, as fashion designer Fred Butler demonstrated with her two foot-tall multi-coloured feather creation.

Fred Butler RBMA Notting Hill Carnival party © Steve Stills

3. Supermodels need time-off to party too.

Karl Lagerfeld’s muse, BFF of Rita Ora and Azealia Banks – is there no end to Cara Delevigne’s talents? Disguising herself with a coloured crop top and floral headdress, she snuck into the RBMA party to pack in some dancing and also take a cheeky turn behind the decks too.

Cara Delevigne RBMA Notting Hill Carnival party © Steve Stills

4. There’s no need to be a jerk.

True it’s a carnival staple but focusing on one dish means you’d miss out on the delights of a good goat or mutton curry and some delicious fried plantain – not to mention those amazing corn patties.

5. Carnival is a time for family.

And if that family happens to be uber-cool reggae stalwarts the Marleys then all the better as they all took to the stage for an epic set, literally flying the flag for Jamaica.

The Marleys at RBMA Notting Hill Carnival party © Steve Stills

6. The most common carnival injury is RSI.

After all, as T.Williams demonstrates here, keeping those hands in the air is hard work.

T.Williams at the RBMA Notting Hill Carnival party © Steve Stills

7. Beyonce has got nothing on the girls at carnival.

We witnessed the girls from Heatwave and CEO Dancers busting moves that would have even Queen B beaten.

Dancers at RBMA Notting Hill Carnival party © Steve Stills

8. The old bill like a bogle too.

The police get a bad press at Carnival so it was nice to see these guys get in the spirit of things with some impressive dance skills too.

More from Red Bull Music Academy here.

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